Students at Seabird Island School will be featured on a brand new television series.
The show is called Warrior Games, and film crews visited Seabird Island last Monday and Tuesday to shoot several scenes of what will become the series debut. Warrior Games focuses on how First Nation children are learning traditional games, and more often than not, how they’re transforming the games into their own modern versions of those played by the ancestors.
Seabird students played games like Nobbies, Slippery Fish, and Earth Ball.
All three are games that they normally play at school, and all have some basis in First Nation culture. Nobbies, host and producer Steve Sxwithul’txw says, is much like boleros. It’s a traditional game that was once only played by the women in a community. Men weren’t even allowed to watch women play it.
But elders have taught the game, and in teaching the game they teach the history as well.
Slippery Fish mimics hand bombing, and the goal is to pass a ‘fish’ around the group as fast as possible without dropping it. It’s silly and fun, just like a kids’ game should be. They also demonstrated Earth Ball to the film crew. While it’s not a traditional game, Earth Ball offers its own lessons to those who play.
Sxwithul’txw says they’ll be shooting Warrior Games episodes well into early next year, and expect the show to premiere in the late summer or early fall of 2013 on APTN.
The goal of the show is to capture all of the ways First Nations students and teachers are staying active and healthy while using the teachings of their elders, he says.
“And it’s always with a youth focus,” he says. “I participate in the games, and they teach me.”
The students also got a glimpse into the television business while the film crew was in town. One morning was spent showing the students how the cameras, booms and other equipment work, while answering questions about film careers.
“That’s a big thing,” Sxwithul’txw says. “It’s important to be planting a seed every time there’s an opportunity. And we gave them an opportunity to see what we do.”
When the show is ready for the air, they’ll be launching a Warrior Games website and Facebook page to interact with students, and further share the love of games.
“First Nation or not,” he says. “We love the feedback.”